Gimmie Your Gold – How to Build a Leprechaun Trap

It’s that time of the year again. Where everyone is wearing green and celebrating their Irish heritage. For us, we do a little celebrating, but our biggest goal is to catch one of those darn leprechauns!

This year we decided to make a trap and see if that improves our chances any. If it does we will be sure to let you know our results and if you’re nice, maybe we will split the gold!

5 Ways to Begin Collecting Toys (and What to Collect)

Vintage toy collecting has become a window into long-forgotten childhood, a way to make a quick buck and a nostalgic’s dream. Think back to the ’70s, before Star Wars became the multi-billionaire franchise everyone knows today. Kids would play with cheap, plastic figurines; toys were tossed into the trash or donated. These little Star Wars figurines, GI Joe Dolls, Hot Wheels cars, Cabbage Patch Kids and Strawberry Shortcake dolls are being sold today for anywhere between $100 to $16,000 on eBay, through collectible shows or auctions.

Rare and collectible toys might be too outrageous to purchase now, but have you been thinking about where to begin collecting the vintage toys of the future? 

A savvy purchaser could be buying a $10 toy today, only for it to sell upwards of $1,000 in 10 or 20 years. Toy collecting is fun, it can be inexpensive, and it can earn you some serious cash (or make a creative home display). Here’s where you can start with becoming a toy collector and knowing what to collect:

Pick a Toy Line

It can be daunting knowing where to begin with collecting. There are plenty of toy lines that have already drawn a collector community: Star Wars, Barbie, G.I. Joe, Polly Pocket, Care Bears, Transformers, and many other brands are insanely popular toys. You can invest in the rare editions released every once in a while or whatever is on the market currently.

Maybe you can take a risk on a toy line. The transforming Donnie toy figure, for example, or the hatching toothless baby dragon at Target might be a good place to start. Think about Littlest Pet Shops, Pokemon, Digimon cards and Bratz dolls– these were all brand new lines of toys no one had ever heard of. You never know who will be interested in buying a new, mint condition toy from your collection.

Go For the Rare Finds

You want to keep an eye out for certain things when collecting toys: age, authenticity, rarity and condition. These factors can majorly appreciate a toy’s value, according to eBay’s entertainment memorabilia selling guide. A rare toy is a find that could be sold for a pretty penny, rather than a doll, toy car or action figure that everyone and their mom had at one time.

Think of the Harry Potter toy collection; maybe everyone was busy buying the Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines. How many people kept an eye on the Dobby, Draco and Hagrid figurines? 

These are toys that could have long been discontinued, but now they have become valuable finds in the toy world. Millions of Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines are produced worldwide, which makes them far less attractive to buyers. However, like the Star Wars toys made during the early 2000s in support of the new franchise, a toy line could flop. Essentially, their line of toys could become worthless. 

You want to be strategic and watch trends.

Keep an Eye on New Toys

Think of the Funko Pop Collectibles—they seem to have burst out of nowhere, even though Funko was founded in 1998, but they are on sale everywhere. Not every single Funko Pop figure is worth collecting because they are so plentiful, but some figures have minimal editions. For example, The Simpsons figures were only made for a short period of time in 2011 and they’ll now run for well over hundreds of dollars on Amazon. The Queen Amidala Funko Pop figurine sells for nearly $110 on eBay.

There are some limited edition Funko Pop figurines explicitly made for gatherings and conventions, like Comic-Con, which are rare collectible finds by the end of the day. The more you begin to collect, the better you will understand the value of certain discoveries and memorabilia. 

Hold Onto Unopened Toys

If you plan to eventually sell your toy collection, there is one important rule you must keep in mind: a toy is worth the most in excellent condition, secure in its original packaging. Toys that have been pulled from their original packaging are called “loose toys,” or “loose in the box,” which refers to an opened box without the toy being removed.  

If you have a child who wants to play with the toy, it would be best to buy two of the same toys. This way, you can leave one toy pristine and untouched in its packaging, and your child has a new toy to play with!

Which Toys are the Best Bet?It is nearly impossible to predict future trends. What you will want to focus on is popular media, like video games, movies and TV shows. If you can find memorabilia from these popular outlets, like a rare Funko Pop Grogu figurine from The Mandalorian. Some popular items might include limited-edition LEGO sets, limited edition board games (collector Monopoly, Candy Land, Life, or Sorry boards), original Minecraft or Fortnite toys, or anything similarly hard to find.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How to Plan The Perfect Family Night In

Family nights are one of the best ways to help you curb the lockdown boredom. But anyone who has kids understands that getting everyone together to enjoy a Friday night together is easier said than done. This is why you need to know how to plan a family night that will go down in history as the best ever, so here are four ways to do that. 

Take It In Turns to Choose 

No one likes or wants to be the family night dictator that chooses what everybody does every week. This is a straightforward way to make your family dread the coming Friday before it has even begun. Instead, you can let everyone take it in turns to choose what they want to do. They might decide to watch a movie, play video games, or get everyone around the dinner table for a board game night. Some kids might even prefer baking to anything else, which gives you something for dessert once you’ve finished tour pizza. 

Offer Some Variety 

Variety is the spice of life, and this is no more crucial than when you’re stuck inside with nothing to do. If your kids aren’t old enough to make decisions (or you flat-out don’t trust them to pick something sensible), you can create an illusion of choice by offering a variety of things to do. For older kids, you might want to introduce them to tabletop RPGs, and if so, you should try SkullSplitter Dice to make them even more interested in the game. You never know, this could be the beginning of an exciting Dungeons & Dragons campaign for the whole family. 

Don’t Force It 

Sometimes, everyone might feel too exhausted to do things, or they might have other stuff to do such as schoolwork or ready-made plans with their friends. If so, you mustn’t force everyone into the family night no matter how much you want to do it. No one will be in the mood and this can make them wary of other nights in the future. So, if people don’t seem into it, don’t be afraid to take a week off. 

Tidy Up Together 

Ordering pizza, baking cakes, and munching on snacks all night is all well and good, but it isn’t any fun for the person who needs to clean and tidy up after everyone. As everyone has been involved in the family night, you should make sure that everyone pulls their weight and cleans up after themselves. Assign jobs to each other such as wiping down the surfaces or vacuuming crumbs from the sofa or floor before going to bed. Not only is this fair, but it also means you can wake up to a clean, tidy house tomorrow morning. 

Family Fun 

These family nights are a fantastic way to create memories and bond with each other. It gives the kids a chance to feel like they’re more adult, staying up later than usual, and it allows the parents to treat their kids like buddies, rather than children. Not every night will be a hit, of course, but with proper planning, you can expect it to be a success more often than not. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Curbing The Lockdown Boredom

Lockdown is boring. All of those weeks you thought that sitting around at home would be way better than going to work proved to be incorrect. Working from home was something to daydream about, but the thing is that it’s all fun to daydream about until you have no choice but to work from home. The key word here is “choice” – we are all in lockdowns for the best for the world, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be happy about it. It can become very boring very quickly but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways that you can entertain yourself.

We are looking out for one another and the right thing to do is to stay inside. So, from reading about Online Casino Industry Trends in 2021 and becoming a dab-hand at poker, to starting a newfound love of knitting, you can make sure that COVID-19 does not take your creativity from you. So, you need to figure out how to dispel the boredom and we’ve got a few tips for curbing it during this time!

Ingredients On Table

Image Source: Pexels

  • Get fit. Spending the time during lockdown working on you is important. Not only will you be able to focus on exercise, you can work on your food. You could even expand this by learning how to cook and learning how to batch cook meals. All you need is ingredients and freezer space, and great videos on YouTube. Getting fit gives you a chance to work on your health and you feel rewarded afterwards
  • Virtual games. The world of the internet is a huge one, and you have online gaming sites, online casinos and pub quizzes available to play online. There are plenty of websites out there that you can join for free, and you can even get together with your friends to do a Zoom pub quiz as a group! If you love gaming online, you can use consoles and online board games, too. These will enable you to make new friends, and you can play everything from chess to Cards Against Humanity! It’s brilliant fun and it gives you a break from the four walls of your home!
  • Baking. We talked about learning to cook, but have you considered learning to bake? Whether it’s perfecting pastries or curating cupcakes with a range of flavors. You can pass the time with baking, and you could give your bakes to your neighbors and family with doorstep drop offs. Not only does baking give you a new lease on life, you geet to put out your creativity and evolve a new hobby. You never know, you could end up making an income off of this.
  • Catch up on reading. That stack of books you bought for your Kindle? They need to be paid some attention! The world is on pause right about now, and that means that you have the time right now to get through them. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about reading and you can do so much of it when you’re stuck in lockdown!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.